STAT ATTACK

Notable numbers from Abramovich’s transfer signings in 19 years at Chelsea

Breaking down the transfer numbers in Abramovich’s 19-year reign as Chelsea owner.

Roman Abramovich bought Chelsea in 2003

Roman Abramovich has announced his intention to sell Chelsea Football Club which signifies an imminent end to his 19-year reign as the club owner.

In that period, Abramovich has overseen 17 seasons, is over halfway into his 18th and has presided over 36 transfer windows.

In those 36 transfer windows, Chelsea spent just over £1.8 billion on 101 permanent first-team signings, including free transfers and excluding loan signings.

That is an average of £102 million spent per season (summer and winter transfer windows combined) at £18 million per player.

His first season in charge of the club also happened to be his busiest as Chelsea brought in 11 first-team players, 10 of those in the summer as Scott Parker was the only January signing for just over £12 million pounds from Charlton.

The least eventful season for transfers was the 2019/20 season, as the £38 million permanent transfer option triggered in Mateo Kovacic’s loan deal from Real Madrid was the only external addition to the first team thanks to a transfer ban imposed on the club at the time.

The only other time Chelsea have been so intentionally quiet regarding transfers is this current 2021/22 season, the club only made two permanent transfers in Romelu Lukaku and Marcus Betinelli in both transfer windows.

The £98 million they spent on Lukaku makes him the only player Chelsea paid a transfer fee for this season, a record-low in the Roman Abramovich era without a transfer ban.

In the 2017/18 season, Chelsea spent over £215 million on Alvaro Morata, Tiemoue Bakayoko, Danny Drinkwater, Antonio Rudiger, Davide Zappacosta, Emerson, Olivier Giroud, Ross Barkley and Ethan Ampadu in both the summer and winter transfer windows.

That makes it the highest cumulative transfer spend in any of Abramovich’s 18 seasons which is funny because it was also the worst season for transfers in the Roman era.

Rudiger is the only one of those nine players who lived up to the billing and is one of two players along with Barkley currently at the club.

Morata, Giroud and Zappacosta were sold off while Bakayoko, Drinkwater, Emerson and Ampadu are currently out on loan looking unlikely to have a future at the club.

The next time Roman splashed the cash over the £200 million barrier in a season was in 2020/21, the second-most expensive season in Chelsea history proved more successful than the first.

Abramovich spent £204 million on Kai Havertz, Timo Werner, Ben Chilwell, Hakim Ziyech and Edouard Mendy. And although the individual performances of some of these players can be called into question in relation to their transfer fees, Chelsea did win the Champions League that season so you cannot argue with the results.

2009/10 was the lowest-spending season of Abramovich’s Chelsea tenure as the club only expended £24.8 million on Yuri Zhirkov, Daniel Sturridge and Nemanja Matic and somehow still went on to win the Premier League in dominant fashion under Carlo Ancelotti.

In 18 seasons at Chelsea Roman Abramovich has spent over the £100 million mark in nine seasons (Summer and Winter transfer windows combined) while also spending below £100 million in nine seasons as well, perfectly balanced.

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